Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay


I sat down for a beer at a bar called “Dock Of The Bay”.  One was brought by a handsome little bartender named ….. Ah, fuck I don’t know. I was halfway through my beer, reading a piece-of-shit novel named Howard’s Hind End when the bartender starts whistling.  I thought what the fuck? This is no time and place to be whistling. There are beers to serve and deep-fried tater tots to dunk in boiling oil. You know, dried up pieces of batter, claiming to have potatoes in them that mysteriously taste like fish sticks.

He must have heard me, because that’s when he, the whistling bartender, returned with a bowl of foul smelling tater tots and placed them in front of some unsuspecting glut who suffered from an extreme stomach protrusion, named in its kinder version, a beer belly. Right next to the plate of steaming heart attack was a small bowl filled with some orangey goo with tiny green alien particles mixed evenly inside its custard. Whatever you do, don’t call them pickles. I was just getting over the initial stench when the tater tot eater started to whistle! That’s right, two blokes from my burb were puckering their way through happy hour, creating a duet that would make Sonny & Cher look like virtuosos.

Hey, I’m trying to read a novel jerk-asses. It may be not a very good novel, but damn, if I want to read something bad I should be given space to do so. You’ve got tater tots to worry about. Shouldn’t balloon man be filling his endless bag of belt-held storage called his stomach, and leaving Mr. Nameless a tip that won’t make a ding in his teeth bleaching bills?

I moved to a table outside and resumed Chapter 33 of Howard.  I read about an uptight woman, who was about to marry someone she didn’t want to marry, because she was accused of winking at a bartender (This is when I looked up to see if Mr. Nameless was lurking around looking guilty), leading her to social ruin. (Hey, it’s a Victorian thang mother fucker. Don’t try to understand.) Apparently, this was also the cause of her picking out bad furniture for a palace. See what flirting will do. And that’s when it happened.

My protagonist, who I had been following through 33 chapters of painful nothingness, who would never touch a tater tot in her life or else she be forced into prostitution, started to whistle! That’s when all the whistles (I mean alarms) went off!


One year later, influenced by the whistling encounter, my PhD dissertation turned out to be how incidental inharmonic noise, heteroglossia, and contrapuntal reading led 19th century realism to blossom into Modernism. I whistled a happy tune (In tune, by the way).



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